Research ArticleCELL BIOLOGY

Compression-induced dedifferentiation of adipocytes promotes tumor progression

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Science Advances  22 Jan 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 4, eaax5611
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax5611


Dysregulated physical stresses are generated during tumorigenesis that affect the surrounding compliant tissues including adipocytes. However, the effect of physical stressors on the behavior of adipocytes and their cross-talk with tumor cells remain elusive. Here, we demonstrate that compression of cells, resulting from various types of physical stresses, can induce dedifferentiation of adipocytes via mechanically activating Wnt/β-catenin signaling. The compression-induced dedifferentiated adipocytes (CiDAs) have a distinct transcriptome profile, long-term self-renewal, and serial clonogenicity, but do not form teratomas. We then show that CiDAs notably enhance human mammary adenocarcinoma proliferation both in vitro and in a xenograft model, owing to myofibrogenesis of CiDAs in the tumor-conditioned environment. Collectively, our results highlight unique physical interplay in the tumor ecosystem; tumor-induced physical stresses stimulate de novo generation of CiDAs, which feedback to tumor growth.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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